I`m going back to 505
If it`s a seven-hour flight or a 45-minute drive
In my imagination you`re waiting lying on your side
With your hands between your thighs
“If it’s you again, David,” Tom spits out into the phone, “then fuck right off.” He tosses a brief glance at his wristwatch. “Say goodnight to Bill, though. I’m doing fine.”
Quiet, gentle breath is all Tom can hear for the next couple of seconds while the skin on his palm is getting damp from a sudden rush of anxiety. And then – if Tom isn’t dreaming right now – Bill himself answers him, tone light and playful.
Tom immediately feels a sharp pang of painful tenderness just as his imagination helpfully supplies him with an image of his brother: smirking with a corner of his lips, eyebrow quirked. David always uses Bill’s phone to call Tom whenever he’s away to ensure that Tom would definitely pick up just out of mere hope to talk to his twin. It always works for that exact reason, even though Tom knows about the trick.
Usually there is no Bill. But today is apparently a rare exception.
“It’s the same room,” Bill says through the rustling of bedsheets on the other end. Noises continue as Tom imagines Bill turning on his side and fluffing up his pillow, and then quiet down just as Bill settles comfortably with a content sigh. “I think they haven’t even changed the curtains yet… are you there, Tom?”
All the way from Milan, slightly muffled, Bill’s voice sounds deeper than usual, very soft and somehow seems distant. The connection is perfect and nothing interrupts the twins, although Tom can’t help but to think that any second from now David will barge in to Bill’s room and mutter something along the lines of ‘tomorrow is a long day, go to sleep’ as he usually does.
By this point even the fans are aware of the fact that managers and producers never let the band rest, both literally and figuratively. All four of them, they always must, owe, have to. Nearly every sentence coming out of David and Peter’s mouths starts with the word ‘ungrateful’.
“I’m here. But I wish I were there with you,” Tom finally answers, thinking of Bill’s parted, plush lips, raspberry pink flesh of his mouth, his sweet tongue. Bill is just waiting for his turn to speak, so his mouth hasn’t shaped into any of his adorable smiles yet, his damp hot breath hasn’t formed into any of the words.
“You always have a choice,” Bill murmurs in return.
Standing in the middle of their dark, quiet living room in Los-Angeles after bathing his dog, only dressed in a pair of wettened jeans, Tom imagines Milan fashion week and a lithe, long-legged, leather-clad Bill catwalking. Not that Tom couldn’t make it to Milan with him, more like he wasn’t allowed to. David kept chanting nonsense about him and Bill only being gone for three days and some more nonsense about Tom being needed with the rest of the production team to work in the studio meanwhile. Eventually Tom surrendered, although he is regretting it this very moment.
You always have a choice, Bill tells him. They’ve been both kept on David’s tight leash for years, but there is no punishment in store for any wise quotes.
“Looks like Delta gets to choose for me now, though,” Tom points out reasonably, not without a bitter chuckle. He doubts that Delta would care about Bill’s silky hair fanned out across the pillows, or the soft milky-white skin of his bare thigs, or his deep hazel eyes, glistening under thick long lashes. Delta also definitely wouldn’t care about how much Tom misses all that. “Same room, are you sure?”
“Fünf null fünf,” Bill whispers quietly, and it feels like ages since the last time they’ve used German to speak to each other. The words seem almost alien to Tom after so much time in America. The last time, Tom remembers, was probably in that very room in Milan’s hotel.
Soft sighs, gentle pleas, ‘yes’, ‘more’, ‘please’. That time when Tom grabbed Bill’s thighs, dragged him closer on the bed, locked his wrists in a one-hand grip above his head and just ground into him while they both were still wearing their pants; trying to restrain the occasional moans of pain caused by the all too tight fabric of their underwear and – later – of pleasure.
They never needed anything more. It was one long invisible line and crossing it equaled to losing everything they had, everything they knew before. Themselves included. This is Tom, and this is Bill, and they are twin brothers. One cannot fuck the other, no matter how lovingly, not even in a lavish hotel with the best view in Milan; not even on mulberry silk sheets.
“For how long do you think the dogs can stay alone?” Tom begins subtly, to which Bill lets out a breathy giggle. “I thought I could, you know, phone someone…”
Last time they were in Italy David eased the leash a little, and Tom ended up having a whole of two glorious days alone with Bill. ‘Have fun’ David said, ‘get out of my sight’ Peter snarled, ‘don’t do anything stupid’ instructed Dave, and Pat preferred to stay silent.
Back then, while the blueberry, neon-drenched night blossomed behind the hotel windows, Tom and Bill kissed each other breathless. And it felt right. No knocking on the door, for one whole minute, and then another. And then even longer. No knocking, no David, no room service.
Bill moaned impatiently, kneading his fingers into Tom’s shoulders. And Tom laughed, holding him in place as if to tell him that nothing was going to happen.
And nothing did.
“I was offered a contract today,” Bill says reflectively, and Tom imagines him twisting a lock of his raven hair around his slender index finger: “some clothes ad or something.” Bill sighs and the next thing Tom hears is that scratchy sound of someone struggling to ignite a lighter. “I turned it down.”
No doubt David was livid. Tom can practically see him dragging Bill away from a yet another crowd of some very important people on a yet another afterparty, into some discreet nook or an alcove, while shrilling in whisper about how important the contract was.
“Fuck it,” Tom shrugs carelessly. “There will be a dozen more contracts tomorrow.”
“Oh? Should I pass the phone to David?” Bill mocks and Tom can distinctly hear the anger in his voice. Tom is not sure who is it directed to, though. “Maybe you’ll manage to convince him to quit his damned nagging.”
Tom doesn’t get scared by the irritated tone in the slightest, he just shoves a pile of papers off the coffee table and finally sits down, just now realizing that this whole time he’s been actually tired of standing. So tired in fact that he doesn’t even care enough make it across the room to reach a chair. The offended paper rustling doesn’t go unnoticed by Bill.
“These better not be my sketches,” he intones in what is supposed to be a menacing warning, but Tom just giggles lightheartedly.
“Of course not,” Tom lies in an instant, while giving the floor under the table one honest glance. Yes, definitely the sketches of the next obnoxious costume for the upcoming tour.
“Just make sure the dogs don’t munch on them,” Bill says, all menace gone and suddenly pleads: “Come over, Tom. I mean it.”
Tom scratches one of the dogs behind its ear absentmindedly (it probably ran downstairs in hopes to chew on some of the fallen paper). Tom thinks he could call the airport right now.
“There is no point, Bill,” he sighs. “I won’t make it till the evening.”
“So what?” Tom imagines his twin shrug. “We’ll still have two days to ourselves. Besides, David thinks I need you here, too,” Bill snorts. “You are the only person in the whole world who is able to make me eat poached eggs for breakfast.”
“And a glass of warm milk,” Tom adds with a chuckle.
On the other side of the phone Bill makes some very convincing gagging sounds, and somehow it triggers the train of Tom’s thoughts to go completely off the rails for a moment while he imagines things he usually tries not to think too much about.
There were surely other breakfast options, not just eggs. But Bill loved being coaxed gently into something. More specifically, he loved being coaxed gently by Tom, while David considered eggs and milk healthy, while Tom himself didn’t care what Bill ate as long as he ate at all.
“Love you,” Tom says because every single dialogue with Bill just seems incomplete to him without these words. His twin, however, goes for sarcasm.
“What a headline,” he drawls sardonically. “Are we posting it online?”
Tom imagines Bill lying on his stomach, wiggling his feet in the air and Tom is almost sure that the mocking is just a part of Bill’s trick. If Tom wants any tenderness back, he has to come and get it.
“Ah, damn it,” Bill surrenders with a soft sigh. “I love you too.”
A shirt tossed carelessly over the back of a living room chair catches Tom’s eye. His next words sound strangely harsh. “For me to actually call anywhere else we have to stop waffling.”
Bill seems completely unfazed by Tom’s choice of words, because all Tom hears in return is a gentle “See you.”
And then the monotonous beeps steal Bill’s gentle voice away from him. To hell with it, Tom thinks and dials the airport, once again feeling unusually anxious. Tom doesn’t know yet that the moment he sees his thin and sleepy twin on the hotel's parking lot, wrapped into one of those warm, favorite cardigans he usually wears off camera, all the long invisible lines will instantly be forgotten. He also doesn’t know that Bill isn’t sleeping right now, unable to believe that Tom is actually coming.
Tom imagines his brother laying on his side, his delicate, long-fingered palms hidden in between his thighs. And then Tom steps outside.
Tom is coming back to five-o-five, and he cannot care less for the rest of the world.